Friday, 23 August 2019

Free to Quilt: Last Past the Post

Free to Quilt: Last Past the Post: From Cream on Cream to Red Grunge! It is considered bad form not to return the Studio Quilters' annual challenge by the August me...

Last Past the Post

From Cream on Cream to Red Grunge!

It is considered bad form not to return the Studio Quilters' annual challenge by the August meeting deadline (and no one wants a ticking off from Rita!😨). So I had to plead extenuating circumstances when I handed mine in only two thirds completed. I had been on schedule, but was overtaken by events at the last hurdle. 

This year's challenge, set by Pat, was to produce three 6 inch squares of 'cream on cream' work using any technique you liked; patchwork, appliqué or embroidery.

 

I chose to do one of each - yes even hand embroidery! The first two were quite easy and I had got those under my belt in June, saving the more difficult embroidery one until last. This was still in the hoop by the day of the meeting. So I took in what I had and we laid them all out together. 

As usual there was a variety of very inspired and accomplished work from everyone.



The whole purpose of the challenge is to make you think outside the box and/or push yourself to try something new. 



We had the option of adding                           our three blocks to everyone else's to make a group quilt, or to make them into a project of our own. 




 

As you can see from the above, I have since finished mine off, backed them and made them into a wallhanging!





Meanwhile I'm trying to catch up with things in the loft while I can. Laura's modern monochrome quilt is finished after sitting on the frame for nearly two months.
You can't see the scale of these circles from this picture, but they go up to 6 inches diameter, joined by very gently waving lines - quite challenging.





Now I have started on Stasha's red 'Grunge' and Pistachio green top. Okay, NOT my favourite colours! But for someone whose hands are 'too stiff to hand quilt' the quality of her English Paper Piecing is astounding. The fussy cutting is also superb. I marvel at the skills of my fellow quilters and it is such a joy to do my bit on their projects. Stasha had said she just wanted something curly swirly and I had thought to do an edge to edge all over. But her parting words, when she left it with me, was that she hoped the flower pattern of the piecing wouldn't be lost. Now I feel it needs a much more custom treatment and I have already done more than 10 hours of ruler work to highlight each flower. There's a few more hours to do yet.

Then it's on to Jean Smith's pretty top (in my colours!)

Happy Quilting Everyone!


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Sunday, 4 August 2019

Free to Quilt: Silly Question!

Free to Quilt: Silly Question!:  Why did you buy that pink cutting mat Janet? UMM! Because it was pink! Another memorable visit to the Festival of Quilts yes...

Silly Question!

 Why did you buy that pink cutting mat Janet?


UMM! Because it was pink!



Another memorable visit to the Festival of Quilts yesterday. It was a proud moment to see my 'Pink Diamond' quilt on display amid so many amazing quilts. Just a bit of a shame that there was a shadow across it from the beam on the frame. I hovered around it for a while to see if anyone commented on it and had a few compliments. Of course, I was travelling with my own posse of friends/fans, so it was all cool!!




There was something for everyone at the show. (Not everyone loves [pink] traditional quilts.) I read some controversial opinions on Facebook when I got home. But whether you like a quilt or not, you know that each maker gets the same satisfaction from their creations as we all do, and that deserves respect. There was so much skill and artistry on display to be admired. I spent a couple of hours browsing the exhibition and I still didn't see them all. I had seen pictures of the most beautiful Willow Pattern quilt before I got there and searched for it with no luck. Eventually I discovered it in a separate exhibition, not with the competition quilts. 

 It was the most stunning piece. On closer inspection, it turned out to be created with embroidery stitching enhanced with 'Inktense' pens, which is how the maker achieved the vibrant blue and shading effects.



It had a price tag of £2750. I don't know if it sold, but it was worth every penny.





Be still my heart!


So yes, I bought a pink cutting mat! 

Well it just happened to fit into the big quilty tote bag that I was carrying, (I brought a couple of quilts with me to donate to Project Linus); and it was a good price too (did I mention it was pink?) My most expensive single purchase was an interesting new long arm ruler. There is a much better choice available now at the show, since I first started buying them. But they are still very pricey, so I restricted myself to choose just one. I look forward to experimenting with it soon. Other than that I bought some mini hangers, Appliquik stabiliser (must have a go at that soon), thread and a few bits and bobs. But NO fabric!


Now I hope I have got my mojo back, after a few weeks without sewing. I got back in the saddle (stool) today and made good progress with Laura's modern monochrome quilt. So I am trying a modern approach myself with this one; wavy lines and big circles to compliment her fabric choices and circular piecing. 

There is more filling in to do yet, and it is a bit of a departure for me, but I think I am going to like it. 



Happy Quilting Everyone!


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Thursday, 4 July 2019

Free to Quilt: Cool Colours

Free to Quilt: Cool Colours: Duck Egg Blue and Peter Rabbit This beautiful quilt, pieced by Pat H, is the latest thing off my frame and I have held back from writ...

Cool Colours

Duck Egg Blue and Peter Rabbit

This beautiful quilt, pieced by Pat H, is the latest thing off my frame and I have held back from writing this blog until she saw it, which she did today. It is called simply 'Maple Leaf' and was designed by Lynne Goldsworthy, featured in Issue 40 of Today's Quilter magazine (and demonstrated on Sewing Quarter I believe).

A so-called 'one block' pattern, it was very complex and tricky, with lots of biases and mitred corners to achieve. But she cracked it!
The original version was made with Edyta Sitar's Little Sweetheart range in reds, pinks and beiges, which was very pretty. But I absolutely love Pat's fabric choices - admittedly she got a lot of them from me - but that just goes to prove what excellent taste she has!
But seriously! How sweet it looks in these soft duck egg blues and creams with a darker accent on the tips of the leaves.





Shortly before, Pat had asked me to help her finish off a UFO from our own Janet S, who had made many blocks for this project, so long ago that she had fallen out of love with the fabrics. Pat couldn't bear to see all this work go to waste and took on finishing the final assembly. I took the opportunity of mastering a new (to me) quilting motif - a sort of paisley hook and curl. You can see it fairly well here, but on some of the busier prints the multi coloured thread blended in so well, it was like trying to quilt blind folded! But it turned out ok and I think I really have it my muscle memory now. I added the paisleys in to the all over flower design on Pat's Maple Leaf quilt.





Despite the somewhat out dated fabrics, the overall effect of the patchwork is very striking. It's all about the contrasting values.






Then there was this delightful little diversion pieced by Val. A set of Peter Rabbit mini panels laid out with simple, crisp, white on white sashing and navy posts with a smart navy flanged border. Beautifully done! A perfect opportunity for me to work on improving my ribbon candy technique. (I got the Micro Handles out for this one- it was so narrow). I learned that it is definitely easier to do vertically than horizontally.





Now I have another 3 on the pile,  which I will get on with as soon as I am able - all very interesting and different in their own ways.


Meanwhile, the Annual Garden Fete for the NSPCC is taking place on Sunday 14th July at Schopwick Place in Elstree. I will be organising the traditional display of quilts made by members of Connecting Threads and Studio Quilters, together with a few items for sale for the cause. (As always I will be making a coffee and walnut cake for the refreshments stand!) Let's hope the weather is a LOT kinder to us this year. PLEASE come and support it if you can.




Lastly, here is my second sweet little strawberry, which I have made as a gift for a very dear friend who is in need of little extra love right now.










Happy Quilting Everyone!


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Saturday, 15 June 2019

Free to Quilt: Happy Birthday Bunmi!

Free to Quilt: Happy Birthday Bunmi!: Sweet Strawberry! When Bunmi mentioned that she had a big birthday coming up this year, it took a moment for me to take the hint! ...